Italian wheat production is expected to fall by 15% this year due to a drought that has cut yields across the country, agricultural lobby Coldiretti said on Monday, increasing Italy's reliance on imports.
An expected lower wheat crop in western Europe, including Italy, adds pressure to already strained global supply owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has boosted prices because both countries are major wheat producers.
Coldiretti estimated that this year's wheat harvest would be around 6.5 billion kilogrammes at a national level on a total surface area of 1.71 million hectares cultivated for both durum and soft wheat.
Higher Production Costs
The fall also impacts cereal farmers at a time when they are battling higher production costs with rising fuel and fertiliser prices.
The farm lobby said the drop increased "dependence on foreign countries in a situation in which Italy has become deficient in many raw materials and produces just 36% of the soft wheat used for bread, biscuits and cakes, and 62% of durum wheat for pasta."
Chicago and Paris wheat futures rose on Monday as a hot spell forecast in western Europe and doubts over talks to open a shipping corridor for Ukrainian grain kept attention on supply risks.
Last week, farm office FranceAgriMer lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season for a third month in a row, saying high prices due to the war in Ukraine had curbed international demand.